There’s an old saying that “Too many cooks spoil the soup”, but if you look around the brewing industry that doesn’t seem to be deterring to many of the “cooks” out there. Collaboration brews are running wild. Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada had their Life and Limb/Limb and Life beers. Dogfish Head also teamed up with Three Floyds on Poppa Skull. And if you think two brewers aren’t “too many” – Stone Brewing has kicked it up. Their collaboration series of beers are always the product of three different brewers. They’ve worked with the likes of Dogfish Head, Victory, 21st Amendment, Maui Brewing, Brew Dog from Scotland and Mikkeller from Denmark. You can check out their impressive list of collaboration beers here. For this review I’m going to look at a pairing of cooks in my nearby area, Flying Dog Brewing from Frederick, MD and The Brewer’s Art from Baltimore, MD. Their soup? Table for Two.
Table for Two is listed as a Belgian table beer. Table beers are typically low alcohol (1% ABV is not uncommon) that were traditionally enjoyed by adults and children at meal time. You can find the Brewer’s Association description of a Belgian table beer on page 19 of this PDF.
Them : The grain bill for this beer consists of French Pilsner, cara-vienna, and biscuit malts along with some rye added in. The hops used are brewers gold and styrian goldings. Wildflower honey rounds out the beer. The beer clocks in at 5.0% ABV which is a little more than a traditional table beer, but since we don’t let our children drink beer I’m good with it.
Me : My bottles of Table for Two seemed lightly carbonated, the head is a thin lace of bubbles which seems to suit this style of beer. In the tasting glass the color starts as a light golden and goes up to a light copper. The flavor starts up front with a malty/honey sweetness that turns into a spiciness (that I get as a light clove) in the middle. The finish is a quick crispness that soon leaves my mouth watering a bit. The honey is subtle throughout, a nice component that gives whole beer a nice balance. This beer is very drinkable and, as its style suggests, could complement a wide array of dishes that might find their way to your meal time table.
To many cooks? Not from where I’m sitting. So next time you’re out with some friends sitting at a table for six, order some Table for Two. People enjoying great beer is something there can never be to many of.
What’s your favorite collaboration beer?